Who doesn’t want clear, fresh, dewy skin? I’m just as guilty as everyone in this matter and read up all the different skincare advice floating on the internet. Sometimes though, it can be difficult to distinguish facts and myths. Tweaked statistics in research reports, misinformed sources, social media, and granny’s advice all have contributed to fabricating many skincare myths.

While I’m not saying there isn’t plenty of accurate and helpful information about skincare on the internet, there’s enough that isn’t true. With the endless stream of beauty hacks and tips, it’s not uncommon to stumble upon conflicting information.

It’s also easy to fall for the silver bullet routine or miracle product that will solve all your skin issues, but skincare is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your skin is as unique as you are as an individual.

Myth 1 – On an overcast day, you don’t need to apply SPF

Possibly this could be the most persistent and most frustrating myths floating around. Even on an overcast day, there’s still sun light coming through the clouds. Obviously, a part is filtered, but it’s still powerful enough to harm your skin.

Cloudy sky above lake Ukaki, photo by Presetbase Lightroom Presets

The clouds may filter out about 20% of the UV. That still leaves 80% that can hit your skin. This may come across as theatrical, but the sun is a major factor in premature ageing. It can cause collagen and elastin, the proteins that are responsible for the skin’s firmness and elasticity, to degrade at a higher rate.

So, no matter what season, or what weather, always protect your skin. Wear SPF on the areas of skin that are or will be exposed to sunlight.

Myth 2 – Poor diet and poor hygiene results in zits

Although what you eat has an impact on your health and thus also on the health of your skin, you’re led astray. Eliminating chocolates, oily or junk food won’t clear your skin.

Your skin breakouts when the pores are clogged by a combination of sebum (an oily substance produced in the skin), dead skin cells, and bacteria. Hormones, your genes, and stress play a much bigger than reducing your junk food intake.

Again, even if bacteria are involved in causing pimples, hygiene is not a contributing factor. Not washing clearly doesn’t help to clear your skin while washing alone also doesn’t solve the problem. In fact, overwashing strips away the natural oils on the skin leaving it unprotected. This is a signal to your skin to compensate and produce more oil. This can lead to a cycle of increased oil production which in turn aggravates acne.

Myth 3 – Oily skin doesn’t need a moisturiser

Any kind of face wash or skin cleanser removes with the dirt also the natural oils of your skin. Now it’s important to understand that your skin needs both skin oil and skin hydration to be healthy. Skin hydration is how much water your skin has (its moisture levels) and skin oil is the sebum (the natural oil produced by the skin).

The sebum helps protect your skin barrier. Without its protection, your skin can’t retain its moisture levels. This can result in irritated and sensitive skin, skin that’s more prone to breakouts, or itchy and flaky skin. Thus, leaving your skin unprotected will cause it to make even more oils

Myth 4 – Skin needs to be squeaky clean

Obviously, cleansing is essential so that you can remove not only makeup but also dirt and other debris from your skin. As discussed, when you wash, the cleansers used will strip your skin of its essential and protective natural oils.

If you need to cleanse your face more than once a day (before bed), for example after a workout, make sure you’re using a gentle cleanser, lukewarm water, and aren’t scrubbing your face too vigorously.

Myth 5 – Mineral oil is bad for your skin

Mineral oil, petrolatum, or vaseline is made from crude oil. So much is true. Mineral oil is colourless and odourless and when used in beauty products, it’s highly refined and purified. This means it doesn’t have the contaminants that one associates with unrefined petroleum.

Mineral oil is a very good moisturiser. It has a large molecule that limits penetration and just sits on the skin. This is the classic definition of an occlusive ingredient.

Even if mineral oil doesn’t have any side effects like anti-ageing or antioxidant as you’d find with vegetable oils, it’s great in sealing moisture into the skin.

Myth 6 – Drugstore products are not effective

There are always good and bad products in any price category, so it really doesn’t matter how expensive the product is.

A big proportion of the price of a beauty product is due to the eye-catching packaging and advertising. Fancy advertising wants to make us believe that the more expensive something is, the better it works. In the end, it boils down to what’s included in the ingredient list and what you’re looking to address.

Myth 7 – You only need to care for your face – not your body

Although the skin on your face is what’s most visible and therefore also gets the most attention, the rest of your body also needs to be cared for.

The skin all over your body is protected by the skin barrier. As such, it needs the same care and attention as the skin on your face. Try to use the same principles of care on your body such as

  • Take cooler and shorter showers
  • Moisturise within minutes after washing
  • Avoid harsh soaps, face, and body washes

What do you think? Did you read about more myths? Let us know in the comments.

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